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Modernizing the public sector : The Scandinavian way

Knutsson, Hans LU ; Mattisson, Ola LU ; Ramberg, Ulf LU and Johnsen, Åge (2017) In Modernizing the public sector p.241-254
Abstract
Looking at the Swedish public sector from a Scandinavian perspective, this chapter argues for a challenged but resilient (although not uniform) Scandi- navian public sector. Sweden is a nation with a long tradition of decentral- ized decision-making, semi-autonomous government agencies and independent local governments. This is considered a receptive context for continuous and incremental modernization. It has fostered a high degree of experimentation in terms of modes of production and distribution, albeit without the risks associated with purely market-driven social reforms based on privatization of both production and financing. The variations on the Swedish modernization theme are many, involving various forms of mar- ketization... (More)
Looking at the Swedish public sector from a Scandinavian perspective, this chapter argues for a challenged but resilient (although not uniform) Scandi- navian public sector. Sweden is a nation with a long tradition of decentral- ized decision-making, semi-autonomous government agencies and independent local governments. This is considered a receptive context for continuous and incremental modernization. It has fostered a high degree of experimentation in terms of modes of production and distribution, albeit without the risks associated with purely market-driven social reforms based on privatization of both production and financing. The variations on the Swedish modernization theme are many, involving various forms of mar- ketization initiatives, boundary-spanning cooperative efforts and an open attitude and willingness towards trying and sharing experiences. High levels of transparency and trust are two initial traits signifying the Scandinavian public sector, which have been both amplified and challenged by the NPM agenda. The inherent strive of NPM for compartmentalization, quantifica- tion and performance measurement challenges some of the institutional glue of the welfare state, which has kept the parts together in a solid unity. Simultaneously, many NPM reforms – with their emphasis on performance measurement and reporting for increasing transparency and improving the outcomes of public polices and services – contribute both to sustained trust and welfare. The chapter concludes that Sweden keeps defending the Scan- dinavian model and values of universalism, solidarity and market independ- ence, a defence in which developments in society and future public management reforms may prove wanting.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Modernizing the public sector
editor
Knutsson, Hans; Lapsley, Irvine; and
pages
14 pages
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:85026267507
ISBN
978-1-138-67594-0
978-1-315-56032-8
DOI
10.4324/9781315560328
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7f21614d-fa41-4a71-9783-7606c32f8cca
date added to LUP
2016-12-13 14:40:04
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:40:58
@inbook{7f21614d-fa41-4a71-9783-7606c32f8cca,
  abstract     = {Looking at the Swedish public sector from a Scandinavian perspective, this chapter argues for a challenged but resilient (although not uniform) Scandi- navian public sector. Sweden is a nation with a long tradition of decentral- ized decision-making, semi-autonomous government agencies and independent local governments. This is considered a receptive context for continuous and incremental modernization. It has fostered a high degree of experimentation in terms of modes of production and distribution, albeit without the risks associated with purely market-driven social reforms based on privatization of both production and financing. The variations on the Swedish modernization theme are many, involving various forms of mar- ketization initiatives, boundary-spanning cooperative efforts and an open attitude and willingness towards trying and sharing experiences. High levels of transparency and trust are two initial traits signifying the Scandinavian public sector, which have been both amplified and challenged by the NPM agenda. The inherent strive of NPM for compartmentalization, quantifica- tion and performance measurement challenges some of the institutional glue of the welfare state, which has kept the parts together in a solid unity. Simultaneously, many NPM reforms – with their emphasis on performance measurement and reporting for increasing transparency and improving the outcomes of public polices and services – contribute both to sustained trust and welfare. The chapter concludes that Sweden keeps defending the Scan- dinavian model and values of universalism, solidarity and market independ- ence, a defence in which developments in society and future public management reforms may prove wanting.<br/>},
  author       = {Knutsson, Hans and Mattisson, Ola and Ramberg, Ulf and Johnsen, Åge},
  editor       = {Knutsson, Hans and Lapsley, Irvine},
  isbn         = {978-1-138-67594-0},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {241--254},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Modernizing the public sector},
  title        = {Modernizing the public sector : The Scandinavian way},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315560328},
  year         = {2017},
}